Afghanistan shares borders with Tajikistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. For an exact location of these and all other border crossings on the Silk Road, see the border crossing map.
For more info on visa requirements, check out the Afghanistan visa chapter. The borders are open for Mujahideen Victory Day.
Afghanistan – Tajikistan border crossings
Shir Khan Bandar – Panji Poyon: The Friendship Bridge connects Dushanbe with Kunduz. It’s an important crossing for freight coming from China through Tajikistan into Afghanistan (and then to Iran). There has been talk about a railroad connecting Kashgar in China through Dushanbe with Kunduz, but it has not materialised yet. Public transport should be available on both sides.
July 2015: crossing the border is possible but not recommended. Kunduz is very unsafe at the moment. Better to head to Uzbekistan and cross from the Termez border. Two friends of mine paid $80 for a private taxi from Panji Poyon all the way to Kabul.
Ishkashim: Coming from Afghanistan, you will need to show a GBAO permit to enter Tajikistan. Coming from Tajikistan, you will need a Wakhan permit if you plan to travel past Sultan Ishkashim, all info on the Wakhan Corridor page.. A tour operator can also pick you up from the border if you don’t have your own transport.
The Tajik border opens at 0800-12.00 and then opens again at 14.00. The Afghan border is closed on Sunday. Opening times 09:00 – 11:30, 14:00 – 16:00.
Beware that it can get very hot there in summer, and the border is a 3km walk out of town on the Tajik side. Ishkashim is about 3 hours from Khorog. On the Afghan side, the border is about 5 km from the city of Sultan Ishkashim. Check our forum for the latest on this border and the Ishkashim border market, which has closed frequently in the past for different reasons (cholera, violence, mudslides), and ask around in Khorog. We have a forum topic for updates on the Khorog border market as well.
Khorog – Shegnan: A bridge connects Tajikistan with Afghanistan here, also known as the Tem – Demogan bridge. The border opens Monday to Friday from 9am-12am and 1pm-4pm. The road goes on to Shegnan Bazaar, and from June to the start of the winter snows, you can drive down to Shiva Lake in about 2 hours and then onwards to Baharak (another 4 hours from Shiva to Baharak, bypassing Warduj)…again, only when the snow melts after June.
Kokul – Ai Khanoum: Open for foreigners. Although this is an international border crossing (with customs and immigration checkpoints on both sides), there is NO BRIDGE. The only way to cross is on a decrepit ferry. It’s a ferry in name only; the boat holds only about five passengers arrayed wherever you can find a seat. There are no safety devices (vests).
The main purpose the ferry exists is to tow a barge, usually filled with Pakistani cement, from Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan to Tajikistan. Previously there was a cable that pulled the barge back and forth, but it’s been broken for some time. The fee for crossing is $10 USD per passenger each way. Photos are prohibited on the Tajik side.
Kupruki Vanch – Jomarji Bolo: Bridge over the river Panj. Open to foreigners according to the UN.
Ruzvai-Nusai Viloyati: Bridge over the Pyanj river connecting Afghanistan with Tajikistan. Open to foreigners according to the UN.
Shokhon – Khohon: A new border crossing point opened at the end of 2017. It was closed in 2018 by Tajikistan fearing Taliban and drug trafficking, but re-opened in 2019 to let through emergency aid.
Afghanistan – China border crossing
Wakhjir pass: At 4,923 m (16,152 ft), the only pass between Afghanistan and China is not an easy one. It is difficult to assess how the infrastructure situation is on the Wakhjir pass now, but China is building a road across, it seems. Not open to foreigners at the moment. More details on the road works in the Wakhan Corridor guide.
Afghanistan – Pakistan border crossings
Pakistan has 8 formal border crossings with Afghanistan, of which Torkham and Chaman – Spin Boldak have international status. The other 6, we presume, are bilateral: Arandu (Chitral), Gursal (Bajaur), Nawa Pass (Mohmand), Kharlachi (Kurram), Ghulam Khan (North Waziristan), Angoor Adda (South Waziristan) and Chaman (Balochistan).
Pakistan has said it wants to build 18 proper border crossings with Afghanistan to regulate cross-border movement.
Khyber pass (Torkham): Reports of succesful crossings without own transport were not seen since 2008, until this report from November 2017 from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Since then, there has been another report in January 2018. Updates welcome here.
Going the other way should be more complicated. However, if you have your own car, the authorities (FATA secretariate in Peshawar) will consider your request.
Chaman – Spin Boldak crossing: Closed for foreigners.
Afghanistan – Uzbekistan border crossings
Termez – Hairatan: On the main road to Mazar-i-Sharif. People generally report a laid-back, easy-going atmosphere on the Afghan side, possibly coupled with a bribe request. On the Uzbek side, you will get the full treatment – see Uzbek border peculiarities – it is good to start before lunch to arrive before dark in Mazar. From the border, it’s about 1 hour to Mazar. Updates reported here.
UZ -> AF: A taxi from Termez to the border costs 2-5$. At the Uzbek border taxi stand, there is an obligatory shuttle bus, you might have to pay 5000 sum for this. After the border, it’s a 1 kilometer walk without shade over the Friendship Bridge. Once across the Afghan side, make sure you have an address ready in Farsi in case your taxi driver doesn’t know the hotel. To get to Mazar-e Sharif, a shared taxi should cost no more than $4/seat.
AF -> UZ: Same thing, but border guards are even more thorough on the Uzbek side when coming from Afghanistan. Expect questioning and thorough checks of your phone/camera/laptop/medicine box.
Afghanistan – Iran border crossings
Islam Qala – Taybad: Main Iran – Afghanistan crossing between Mashad and Herat. The security situation in Afghanistan is of course subject to change, but the border crossing is definitely open for foreigners, operating during daylight hours only. It’s busy. The Mashad – Herat road is in good condition.
Shared taxis are the quickest way to get to/from the border to Mashad on the Iranian side (4 hours), with a possible stop-over needed in Torbat-e-Jam. On the Afghani side, it’s about 2 hours driving from the border to Herat, with lots of shared taxis and minibuses willing to take you there. Latest we heard, a shared taxi from Herat to Mashad cost 15$/seat (2018).
Alternatively, there are also buses from Mashad to Taybad, and even to Herat, but not much cheaper than the shared taxis, and definitely slower at the border than walking across and taking another transport. If you would like to take the bus in Mashad, or in the other direction from Herat, get there early in the morning and wait for the bus to fill up, since there is no way of knowing when it will leave (supposedly at 7am).
Updates welcome in the Mashad to Herat border crossing forum topic.
Milak – Zaranj: This is officially a multilateral border crossing open to foreigners. We have no reports of any foreigner crossing. There are direct flights from Zaranj to Kabul.
Afghanistan – Turkmenistan border crossings
On entering Turkmenistan you have to pay 12$ entry tax, to be paid in dollars only. The borders are usually closed for lunch. Take about 2 hours to cross any border.
Torghundi (Tawraghudi ) – Serkhetabat (Kushka): The main border between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, on the road to Herat. Reported closed for tourists by the Brussels embassy in January 2018; we presume due to Taliban activity. Locals polled in June 2018 however claim it is open. Updates welcome in the Torghundi forum thread.
The road is perfect asphalt, but in the winter, it may be closed because of snowfall.
In case it reopens: a shared taxi from Herat to the border cost anywhere between 200 afghanis and 30$ in 2011, depending on haggling skills. From the border to Herat, it is unsure if transport will be waiting for you (mixed traveler reports), but maybe the border guards will take care of you. On the Turkmen side, it should be no problem to find a shared taxi heading to Mary, if you are on a transit visa.
Imam Nazar – Aaqina: A remote border crossing near Andkhoy that sees little traffic. It was open for foreigners in 2011, but we haven’t had any reports since to confirm. The road is a dirt track that will require a 4WD and good preparation.
There is no settlement on either side of the border, so you will likely continue straight to Atamyrat (previously Kerki) or Andkhoy, if you find transport quickly. There is no public transport going to the border.